On Wednesday, in a tragic turn of events, first responders were faced with having to try to save one of their own after attending the scene of a collision without injuries around 22 kilometres north of Rosetown.
Darrell Morrison, 46, was struck by a passing semi and died a short time later.
The RCMP investigation is still ongoing but roads were icy and there was thick fog on the morning of the fatality.
Following Morrison’s death, emergency personnel are now pleading for the public to slow down when approaching the scene of an collision.
“We do all we can do to protect ourselves and the scene but certainly there’s been many close calls,” Asquith fire Chief Colin Graham said.
Since the tragedy, fire halls across the province have sent their condolences to the crew and community of Rosetown and say Morrison’s death hits home.
“Certainly our hearts, our prayers, our thoughts – go out to them,” Graham said.
The vast majority of the province is serviced by volunteer firefighters who are increasingly having to put themselves in harm’s way when on dangerous highways in order to respond to calls.
“They are by far the worst because of speeds,” Asquith fire Capt. Darren Kraft said.
Highway traffic volumes on the edge of Asquith have reached more 4,000 motorists a day and in 2016, the fire department was called out to 18 motor vehicle collisions compared to just a single collision in 2005.
“Drive slow, people, ” minister for SGI Joe Hargrave said on Thursday.
“We can do everything. We can put legislation in, we can make the fines heavy, we can do all that stuff, but it’s up to people to be responsible.”
The first thing the Asquith Fire Department does when it responds to a collision is puts up massive signs but say it’s up to drivers to pay attention.
“Slowing down to 60 kilometres that’s not just for emergency response that goes for everybody out there,” Kraft added.
“The fire department, the ambulance drivers, tow truck, crews working on roads – anything – 60 is the maximum.”